A Sizzling Summer of Music

From the new BEACH IT! country music festival to R&B legends, rock gods to singer-songwriters, it’ll be a hot summer concert season.
A Sizzling Summer of Music

Photo by Lily Mason, Courtesy of Live Nation

Pungo to Nashville

Virginia Beach native Alana Springsteen is among an all-star lineup for the new country music festival coming to the Oceanfront June 23-25

Photo by Lily Mason

Summer is kickin’ off with a hot start in Virginia Beach this year as the city welcomes the first ever BEACH IT! Country Music Festival June 23-25. Get ready to exchange your country boots for toes in the sand and enjoy some of country music’s hottest artists. This three-day festival will feature big names like Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Riley Green, Brothers Osborne, Kip Moore and Jo Dee Messina, as well as young country artists that are on the rise.

That includes Coastal Virginia native Alana Springsteen, who was raised in the heart of Pungo before relocating to Nashville to jumpstart her music career. Springsteen recently released EP, TWENTY SOMETHING: Messing It Up, features the singles “You Don’t Deserve a Country Song” and “Shoulder to Cry On.” Coastal Virginia Magazine recently had the chance to connect with Springsteen about her love of music, what’s next for the talented singer-songwriter, and growing up in Virginia Beach (she even has “757” tattooed on her arm). Below are excerpts from that conversation.

Coastal Virginia Magazine:
How did your passion for music come about? What inspires you and what keeps you going?

Alana Springsteen: I feel like I was born with music in me. I picked up the guitar for the first time at seven and started writing songs at nine. Songwriting gave me an outlet to express emotions I couldn’t get out otherwise [and] the songs I’ve written about my life have given me the most amazing community. The fact that people are finding pieces of their own stories in mine is still so surreal. It makes us all feel a little less alone. That connection consistently inspires and pushes me. I live for those moments and create with them in mind.

As an artist and performer, having an audience is so important. How has the return of live audiences post-covid made an impact on
your career?
I released my HISTORY OF BREAKING UP projects during COVID-19 and the connections I made with fans through social media was all I really knew. Going into my first real tour with LANY in 2021 and getting to play amphitheaters and arenas for the first time was an experience I’ll never forget. Everything clicked for me when I hit that stage. The closeness I already felt to my fans through my music was taken to another level when I was finally able to lock eyes with them and share those moments together in person.

Photo by Lily Mason

Your new album TWENTY SOMETHING will be releasing soon. Is there a release date yet and what are you hoping your audience takes away from the album?
[TWENTY SOMETHING will release] a little later this year! For the past two years, I’ve been on this journey of getting to know myself. Our 20s can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but I think it’s a time to make mistakes, take chances and figure out how to be the most authentic version of ourselves. I’ve been writing my way through all of it and learning so much about myself and the world around me in the process. I hope these songs inspire listeners to work on themselves, too, and encourage them [to] live the most fulfilling lives they can.

What does it mean to you to be a part of BEACH IT! and to be performing on the main stage here in your hometown?
Virginia Beach is my heart. It’s the reason I feel the most myself by the ocean. I was raised on those beaches, and I’ve been lifted up by the community. I learned to dream there. I’m honored that the Live Nation team asked me to help announce it and the lineup. No matter where in the world music takes me, part of me will always be in the 757.

What are you most excited for about BEACH IT!?
BEACH IT! is going to be extra special for me because so much of family is still in Virginia Beach and for a lot of them, it’ll be the first time they’ve seen me play a stage that big. It’s also the first festival where I’ll get to play the main stage! It’s so special that I’ll get to have that moment right there in the sand I was raised on. I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity!

Can you tell us a little bit about growing up in Pungo and how that influenced you into the person you are today?
To me, Pungo is the perfect cross section of country and coastal, which has informed everything from the songs I write to the clothes I wear. I grew up five minutes from our local beach, Sandbridge, and right down the street from Henley’s … Cromwell‘s … farms that have been there for generations run by families we all know. I come from a pretty big, loud family. We’re all very close and I’m so grateful for them, but sometimes it can be a lot. Growing up, there were times I needed space to get away, think, and take a deep breath. That’s when I’d go to the water and sit on the sandy beaches. Those moments are the reason I feel the most at peace by the ocean. Pungo has this laid-back swagger to it. The community is so tight-knit and every time I go back, I remember how familiar it feels. The second I cross that Chesapeake Bay Bridge, I take a deep breath and realize how much of my heart is still there.

What led you to get your 757 tattoo?
I talk a lot about my hometown with my friends in Nashville and I’ve found a little pocket of people there who are also from Virginia Beach. About a year ago, a few of us decided that we wanted to have a little bit of home with us everywhere we went, so we each got a hometown area code tattoo. It always makes my day when someone notices it and tells me they’re from Virginia Beach, too. It makes the world feel a little smaller.

What are your go-tos when you’re here in Coastal Virginia?
For coffee, I love Commune—great food, locally sourced from all the farms I grew up minutes from. And [they have] amazing lattes and chai! Sandbridge Beach is the beach I grew up on [and] I have so many memories fishing with my grandad on that pier and watching sunsets there. Pungo Pizza is a childhood favorite. [They have the] best garlic knots ever. I also have dreams about the fresh corn and tomatoes from Henley’s Farmers Market in the summer. There’s nothing like it!

Taylor Adams, Brian O'Connell, Alana Springsteen and Bobby Dyer at the BEACH It! Festival announcement event Virginia Beach.
Taylor Adams, Brian O’Connell, Alana Springsteen and Bobby Dyer at the BEACH IT! Festival announcement event Virginia Beach (Photo by Anna Clary)

BEACH IT! Country Music Festival
June 23-25, Virginia Beach Oceanfront

BEACH IT! is Virginia Beach’s brand-new country music festival that will be taking place between 3rd and 8th Streets just steps away from the water. The Main Stage will be located near 3rd and that is also where you’ll find all of the VIP areas. Discover new artists at the Next from Nashville Stage that is just a few streets down.

The full lineup includes Miranda Lambert, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Riley Green, Cole Swindell, Brothers Osborne, Kip Moore, Jo Dee Messina, Jameson Rodgers, Nate Smith, Hailey Whitters, Megan Moroney, Lily Rose, Alana Springsteen, Dee Jay Silver, Mackenzie Carpenter, Ashland Craft, Tyler Braden, Aaron Raitiere, Ben Burgess, Madeline Edwards, Pillbox Patti, George Birge, Erin Kinsey, Peytan Porter, and Chayce Beckham, with more to be announced and all artists subject to change.

All ages are welcome at the festival and children six and under are eligible to receive free general admission. Three different passes are available, as well as a military discount and layaway plans. Hotel packages with and without festival tickets are also an option for those looking to make the weekend a little getaway to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Learn more at BeachItFestival.com.
Photos Courtesy of Live Nation

 

Check out all of our 2023 Summer Concert Picks.


 

KT
Kelsey Thomas
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